Risking the Tsar's punishment for theiving, Pavel courageously saves a beautiful wolfhound, and receives an unexpected justice.
Pavel saves an enormous, half frozen dog. If he looks after it, his father is sure they would be punished by the Tsar for stealing, but he values its beauty and cannot leave it to die in the bitterly cold forest. Bravely seeking a solution, he discovers, in an unexpected way, that men of any social class are capable of justly acknowledging the good in others.
As they wrestle with grade school social conflicts and share a fantasy land, ten year old Jess learns from Leslie's bright character and values, until tragedy teaches him to adopt and live by those values.
Jess trained to be the fastest runner in 5th grade, but when he defended Leslie's right to run against the boys there was an unexpected result. She beat everyone. Jess saw a beauty in her gait, and she saw justice in him. As companions they deal with difficult school mates and escape to their imaginary forest kingdom of Terabithia. Jess gradually sees an approach to life brightly different from anything he had imagined. In a heart wrenching turn of events, Jess realizes what Leslie had shown him was worth sharing with those most worthy of it.
Marc Falkoff's abridged story of an orphan girl who seeks to fit into her new community of adults and friends without sacrificing her self respect and Romantic values.
Mathew and Marilla sought a boy to help on their farm, but the orphanage sent Anne. Anne has a number of "scrapes" as she tries to integrate into a rather austere household, and a community with a mix of characters. Her prideful pursuit of her own values is both charming and exemplary. Marc Falkoff does not merely enumerate Anne's scrapes, but presents them as if the reader was there —an essential aspect of writing for children.
Thanks to an ugly little warthog, both the plain and the beautiful jungle animals learn that the physical trappings of beauty are not as important as cooperation and considerate behavior.
Ngiri, a small, ugly Warthog, was sick of being teased. Wise Nyumbu, an old Wildebeest, lent him magic bongo drums and Ngiri drummed up a change. What happened was quite unexpected. Traits of one animal had been randomly attached to another, except to Ngiri. After several attempts the whole community was in an uproar. What would they do on the day of the Grand Parade? Terrific art, with hidden characters, add to this book's value.
The World Government trains a child genius to save Earth from aliens, but Ender experiences the consequences of committing to goals that are not his own.
Siblings Peter and Ender are geniuses but only Ender is chosen, at age six, to be trained as the ultimate space commander. In Battle School he finds his genius is variously admired and viciously resented. The stakes rise unbearably, as Ender struggles to keep his integrity. When a man’s ultimate purpose is decided by others, can he achieve his ideals? Peter sought to be a user rather than be the used. Are the brothers a metaphor for a false alternative?
These five stories present: 1) timely productiveness, 2) persistent effort, 3) academic detachment, 4) a deception to correct an error, and 5) the nature of jumping to conclusions.
This collection of Frog and Toad fables are as good as ever, but with two small flaws. We see Toad learn the benefit of caring for his home in a timely manner; that persistent effort finally flies their kite (though shouting appears to be a factor); that scary stories encourage a detached perspective; that a deception (a flaw) could improve the fit of Toad's birthday gift; and, that Toad jumped to faulty conclusions when he learned Frog wanted to be alone.
Having argued over the first egg they'd found, and broken it, Sam & Alice cooperate successfully in caring for a second egg.
Sam and Alice find an egg and, working together as friends, transport it past farmyard obstacles to the barn. When Alice shows the egg to the farm's sheepdog, Sam is alarmed it will be eaten. His haste to protect it knocks it to the ground, shattering the egg and their friendship. On hearing another hen laying, Sam is quick to 'make up'. This time they are more sensible and are thereby more successful.
A grandfather anticipates his relationship and activities with his unborn grandchild.
Though sentimental, Crystal shows children just how eagerly parents and grandparents anticipate and love their children. His narration is in verse: "You're the new twig on our tree, / and I can't wait to watch you grow." Illustrations are unnecessarily misty, as if the values portrayed are somehow not of this world. A decent gift, but it seems to be written more for a grandparent's sentimentality, than for the grandchildren. (This same error can be seen in "I Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch)
D.W. shows a disbelieving Arthur that she actually can read the words on many street signs.
Arthur's Reading Race is an excellent sticker book for beginning readers. Arthur challenges D.W. to prove that she can read. Walking through town D.W. spots words on signs (which are shown in the illustrations). The accompanying text has certain words highlighted in blue, each identifying the sticker picture that the young reader can place by the word. This is a great activity book for interest, and for learning.
In Guatemala, specially made kites are flown to celebrate the lives of deceased love ones.
"Barrilete" is the Guatemalan word for kite. In an unusually positive celebration of the lives of the now dead, kites are gaily flown over the local cemetery. The author uses photographs to show the making of a Barrilete, and its launch. Amado also provides select Guatemalan terms.